Some time back I wrote about an experiment we were undertaking. We wanted to try and focus on a sick individual , at least more closely than we normally would, and help them get well enough to care for themselves.
The experiment started with one of the girls in our house's sister. Millicent was a perfect candidate. Poor, h.i.v. positive, and chronicly sick. Everything went well. We bought food, medicines, helped her children get into school, and purchased some household goods. Normally we would have only done one or two of those things, but this was the experiment. A more indepth assistance.
It worked. Her health improved and she was able to start caring for herself once again. It is our plan to do this for others now, and hopefully make a larger impact overtime.
Unfortunately we cannot control all the variables in this experiment. Millicent was doing better. She was feeling better, more optimistic than she had been in a long time. She became a perfect target for a conman.
You see, there is a plague of faith healers/prophets/evangelists/pastors or whatever they are calling themselves here in Kenya. They prey upon the weak and ignorant. One of these snakes visited Milicent. He prayed for her and declared her cured of h.i.v./a.i.d.s. To prove her faith in this healing he advised her to stop taking her medication.
She did, and of course got very sick. We took her back to the clinic where the medications are provided, but they refused to give her anymore. Or rather, refused to help her find a new regiment of drugs which would now work for her. We ended up taking her to another clinic, far out of the way, and they were willing to help her.
Please do not mishear me here. I believe in miracles, I've seen too many to dismiss them. However in all the years I have known about h.i.v./a.i.d.s. and the hundreds of people I have known with the virus, I only know of one guy who was positive and is now not. Logic dictates that once you have it, you have it for life, no matter how hard you pray, how much money you give, nor how pious you are.
Milicent is in a rough place now, thanks to some faith healer's prayer and bad advice. We are brainstorming on how to deal with these situations and hopefully reduce the occurrences of these fake miracles.
In the meantime, we will continue to love as many as possible and provide for as many real needs as we can.